Dancing Tomatoes

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A Swedish dish for a French Christmas? Mais oui! That is because there is no real, traditional Christmas dish. Generally in France we eat seafood for the Christmas meal, which is on Christmas Eve after midnight mass. But for me, an advantage of being American AND French, I can mix traditions and draw from…anywhere. I chose Jansson’s Temptation because it comes from the time when I was writing GREAT AMERICAN SEAFOOD and researching everything from the sea. Into my lap (and onto my plate) fell this marvelously wonderful and unusual dish called Jansson’s Temptation. I tasted it, tested it, included it in the book. And it’s been a favorite ever since.

It’s got a million advantages, not the least being its delectable-ness. But it is simple, can be made and baked in advance and reheated, and is even better the following day. Bon Appétit!

Jansson’s Temptation

You may just become addicted to this traditional holiday dish, which originated in Sweden but is likely to take the entire world by storm!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: swedish
Keyword: anchovies, cream, onions, potatoes


  • 7 ounces;210g anchovy fillets, preferably packed in oil
  • 4 medium-sized starchy potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium onions thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 cup;375ml 375ml heavy cream
  • ¾ cup;8g 8g loosely packed flat-leaf parsley


  • Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
  • Drain the anchovy fillets, reserving the anchovies and the oil separately.
  • Generously butter a 1-1/2 quart (1-1/2 liter) baking dish. Cover the bottom with half the potato slices. Sprinkle with pepper. Add a layer of half the onions; top with the anchovies, laying them side by side. Top with the remaining onions and season with more pepper. Make a top layer with the remaining potatoes. Drizzle the oil from the anchovies overall. Pour in the cream. Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 300F (150C).
  • Continue baking until the potatoes are cooked through and golden on top, about 1 hour and 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 10 minutes, to cool just a bit.
  • Mince the parsley.
  • To serve, sprinkle the Jahnsson’s Temptation with the parsley and enjoy!

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